Journal of Biological Physics

, Volume 6, Issue 1–2, pp 69–86 | Cite as

Effects of high frequency electric fields on mammalian chromosomes in vitro

  • Michael J. Andrews
  • Joseph A. McClure


The effect of an alternating electric field in the frequency range 2 to 50 MHz on human and Chinese hamster chromosomes in liquid suspension was studied. Three distinct types of behavior were observed. Above certain threshold field strengths the chromosomes orient themselves with their long axes along the field direction. The dependence of this threshold on frequency was measured and was found to be much larger at low than at high frequencies. At higher field strengths the chromosomes move together and form end-to-end chains along the field direction. When the field is intense and spacially inhomogeneous, translational motion of the chromosomes occurs. There was no marked difference between the response of the human and hamster chromosomes.


Polymer Statistical Physic Field Strength High Field Distinct Type 
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Copyright information

© Physical Biological Sciences Ltd 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Andrews
    • 1
  • Joseph A. McClure
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsGeorgetown UniversityWashington, D.C.

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